Wrestling with Employment Classifications: Are WWE Wrestlers Independent Contractors?

Wrestling with Employment Classifications: Are WWE Wrestlers Independent Contractors? 70 LABOR L.J. 165 (2019).

6 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

On March 31, 2019, HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver aired a twenty-three-minute segment that addressed how the wrestlers working for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) are independent contractors but should be classified as employees. The video was also uploaded to YouTube and has been viewed over seven million times. It sparked a conversation on the issue that resulted in a response from the WWE claiming that John Oliver “simply ignored the facts.” This article provides a background of the work WWE wrestlers perform, introduces relevant case law and legal standards for determining worker classification, and concludes by making a determination as to whether WWE wrestlers are independent contractors or employees.

Keywords: worker classification, independent contractor, employee, labor law, WWE, professional wrestling, UFC working conditions, employee benefits, employment law labor union,

Suggested Citation

Conklin, Michael, Wrestling with Employment Classifications: Are WWE Wrestlers Independent Contractors? (2019). Wrestling with Employment Classifications: Are WWE Wrestlers Independent Contractors? 70 LABOR L.J. 165 (2019)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596610

Michael Conklin (Contact Author)

Angelo State University ( email )

2601 W. Avenue N
San Angelo, TX 76909
United States

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